The Dallas Mavericks fully guaranteed the contracts of both Maxi Kleber and Frank Ntilikina over the weekend, as expected, which leaves one remaining roster spot for the 2022-23 season. While there has not been definitive reporting it appears the Mavericks are one of perhaps several teams in a holding pattern while everyone waits to see what the Brooklyn Nets do with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Marc Stein reported that the Mavericks may consider leaving the spot open heading into training camp. The only player they were fully linked to, Goran Dragic, has since signed a deal with the Chicago Bulls. So whether there is no one they feel committed to, or whether they want to leave the spot open in case they need to take an extra player back in a larger trade, remains to be seen.
But if the Mavericks decide to no longer wait and be part of that marquee deal, there are still a few players left on the open market who could fill a need and might be willing to take a veteran minimum deal for the season. These aren’t jump-out-of-your-seat, season defining moves. But they could identify a budget acquisition, and possibly help their depth.
30 year old Jeremy Lamb has bounced around the league during his 10 years as a pro. He was a key offensive piece for the Charlotte Hornets in the seasons prior to LaMelo Ball being drafted. Between his four seasons in Charlotte, and his first two with the Indiana Pacers, the 6’5 wing averaged 11.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists while shooting 34 percent from three. Last season he was part of the Domantas Sabonis deal that sent a package of players to the Sacramento Kings, where his production dipped in 17 games.
Lamb may not be big enough (listed at just 180 pounds) to play backup small forward full time, but he has the length to play both wing positions. It is unclear who might be starting alongside Doncic in the backcourt if JaVale McGee does start at center, but no matter what the Mavericks will need another wing off the bench. Lamb has the experience to be a spot contributor.
A former Mavericks training camp invite back in 2017, Dozier eventually settled into being a key reserve for the Denver Nuggets over the last three seasons before tearing his ACL back in November. If you remember back to that fall, the Mavericks saw potential in Dozier as an ultra-long ballhandler, which in many ways is what the 6’6 wing grew into with the Nuggets.
Reports back in June indicate that Dozier has been cleared for basketball activity and that he should be available for fall camp. Dozier is still on the market likely due to the injury and that most recoveries last up to a full calendar year. But if the Mavericks are leaving this roster spot open anyway, Dozier might be the perfect fit as he continues to rehab. Though not the scorer that Lamb has been in his career, he has a skillset that the Mavericks need in reserve minutes. He turns 26 in October, so this wouldn’t be an investment in a veteran that may take longer to recover.
The 29 year old guard has never blossomed into the talent you’d hope from a lottery pick (the Sacramento Kings drafted him 7th in the 2013 NBA Draft), evidenced by his making six different stops, playing for five different teams, in his nine seasons. But he’s an NBA body with experience and a proven ability to stretch the floor as a shooter in a spread offense.
He has been at his best in that regard over the last three seasons, playing with James Harden with the Houston Rockets, LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers, and Damian Lillard with the Portland Trail Blazers. That is to say he’s used to playing off a heliocentric ballhandler-scorer. In those three seasons he has shot 37 percent from three on six attempts per game. His defense leaves some to be desired, and he won’t fill a ballhandling need. But again, this is about filling out wing depth.
Dorsey is included here after a report surfaced on the fourth from Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek that the Mavericks held a private workout with the former Oregon Duck. The 6’5 shooting guard was drafted in the second round back in 2017 by the Atlanta Hawks, before spending some of his second (and last) NBA season with the Memphis Grizzlies. He shot 35 percent from three on 331 total attempts.
Since then Dorsey has played overseas, first playing with Maccabi Tel Aviv then with Olympiacos where he was the team’s second leading scorer while helping lead them to the EuroLeague final four. How his skillset translates back to the league isn’t clear given his time away, but his stats indicate he can still shoot the ball — he has shot almost 40 percent from three internationally.